It's Time to See Joe Paterno as He Really Was: a Liar

Paterno helped drive Sandusky cover-up: Buzz Bissinger
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2012 12:53 PM CDT
Updated Jul 2, 2012 1:57 PM CDT
A mural is shown on the side of a student bookstore with a likeness of legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno on it wearing a halo that was added, Monday, Jan 23, 2012 in State College, Pa.   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

(Newser) Newly released Penn State emails from 2001 imply that Joe Paterno helped drive a cover-up of the infamous Jerry Sandusky shower incident, which flies in the face of Paterno's grand jury testimony. In the Daily Beast, Buzz Bissinger pulls no punches as he rails against the lionization of Paterno: "He was the God of Happy Valley ... so you can bet it was he who was the primary driver behind the decision not to report Sandusky to authorities," Bissinger writes. And though it's "ugly" to speak ill of the dead, what happened in 2001 was just as ugly, he argues.

As Bissinger explains, Paterno's "obvious implication" to the grand jury was that, after being told about the shower incident by Mike McQueary, he spoke to athletic director Tim Curley about it just once, and left it Curley's hands to act next. But one email tells a different story. In it, Curley wrote that he was changing his mind about the ensuing plan university officials had come up with to report Sandusky. "After giving it more thought and talking it over with Joe ... I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps." It's time for people to stop admiring Paterno's faultless image and see him as he really was. "He wasn't the moral center. He wasn't the avuncular JoePa. He wasn’t the man who simply didn’t do enough when confronted with a sickening allegation," Bissinger concludes. "Add the word 'liar' to his legacy." Click for his full column. (Read more Penn State sex abuse stories.)

My Take on This Story
Another brilliant story: South Park Responds to LeBron's Comments